The Cigar Rights of America is busy right now. Legislatures across the country are back in session and there is the new session of Congress. Lots of places to look for legislation aimed at screwing cigar smokers. But as I have reported CRA is making progress in Nebraska last week the Senate voted 34 to 2 to advance the bill allowing cigar smoking in the state’s cigar lounges. While the supporters hold for fast passage, one Omaha Senator vows to filibuster the bill. Stay tuned…
In Washington there are a couple of bills getting attention. One is the reintroduction of the bill to keep the FDA out of our humidors. Rep. Bill Posey is sponsoring the legislation (which was pending last session so to keep moving forward it had to be put in again.) Already the House version has 35 co-sponsors. The text is not yet available but the title says the bill clarifies the FDA’s role over certain tobacco products to protect jobs and small businesses involved with traditional and premium cigars.
And in the President’s new 4 trillion dollar budget, once again he calls for increases in the federal tobacco tax. The plan is to double the federal tax to help fund health insurance for low income children. This is the S-CHIP program that already added about 40 cents to every cigar. The President’s budget calls for nearly doubling cigarette taxes from $1.01 to $1.95 with a similar increase on cigars. The tax, if passed, which fortunately is doubtful, would take effect in 2016.
Bottom line the CRA has a lot to do. Why not help them by joining today?